Where in the world am I now?
I don't stop...
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I finally made it to India!
This picture was taken in Mumbai at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum. http://csmvs.in. This Sunday was the only day I had to relax and explore during the time I was there. I travelled from Singapore to Chennai on the Southeast coast of India, spent a few days, then flew to New Delhi in North central India for a stint, then on to Mumbai on the Western coast for a few days. All in all I spent 12 days in India including travel. If you look at a map, you will see how many kilometers I tracked.
We were busy!!! I visited hospitals, met doctors and nurses, taught classes and more.
In the photo above, the hand is in the Vitarka Mudra pose or position. Many buddhist statues and representations are noted with this mudra. This one is particularly significant as it represents the gesture of discussion or sharing of ideas and teaching. Although this wasn't in my mind at the time I snapped this image, it is truly the background behind my visit to India.
India can be described with words, but they don't do it justice. Some that come to mind easily are; chaotic, noisy, colorful, grimy, spicy, complex, gracious, poor, rich, hectic, beautiful, pungent, silky, ancient, modern and more! You must experience India with all your senses. If you aren't used to SE Asia, travel in less developed countries, and some 'in your face' poverty that stares you down, you may be shocked and India may not be for you. My co-worker from India told me that he was impressed with how I took India in stride. To me, it was amazing. I want to go back.
The majority of my time was spent meeting doctors and nurses in a variety of public and private hospitals. The public hospitals were very basic, and the buildings were old but the clinicians were very interested in new technology and excited to see our products. The public hospitals were packed with people everywhere. There were people waiting in chairs, on floors and in stairways. It was a bit overwhelming. Care is essentially free in public hospitals and it is done as best it can be, with limited funds for the throngs of people needing care. Those of you in the USA should count your blessings that even if you don't have insurance or money, you can still be treated in a fashion that is out of reach for most people in the world.
When inside the Indian private hospitals, it felt like I was back in the USA, Australia, Singapore or other countries with well developed medical care. The buildings are new and clean but the sheers numbers of patients remain evident. These patients pay for their care, there is health insurance. The growing middle class is evident in these hospitals. Visiting hospitals in other countries is always interesting to me and keeps me open to new ideas.
We spent a lot of time the car traveling between appointments. The traffic in Delhi is epic! All three cities I visited, the traffic is quite intense and chaotic. The lanes are just a "suggestion" and cars seem to come so close as to touch when navigating through the cities. In fact, I never saw a wreck. I told my co-worker that is seems Indian cars are "greased" and slide through traffic without a scrape. He thought that was quite funny. Truth told, most of the countries I visit, except Singapore have similar traffic. Must be why it didn't rattle me.
I ate a LOT of really good food. Not all Indian food is spicy and especially if you are not local (look foreign) it is harder to get spicy food. My co-worker asked often to provide us spicy food and although it was tasty, it was difficult to get them to up the spice to the level I'm used to. I stayed in business hotels that had amazing breakfasts! I started eating eggs with a sauce called sambar that reminded me of Mexican green chili. I was in heaven.
Each region has slightly different specialties and flavors and I loved it all. Since I was traveling for work I really wasn't too adventuresome and had no gut issues during my trip. I'm hoping to travel a bit in India with Corey and we will try a bit more of the edgy places. It was probably all for the best that I wasn't stuck in the bathroom when I was needing to be working.
During my one day off in Mumbai I rented a taxi/driver for about 5 hours. I had researched that there was a Ghandi Museum in Mumbai and had wanted to visit. It is called Mani Bhavan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mani_Bhavan
Mani Bhavan is a lovely old home in the historic district that Gandhi spent his time when in Mumbai. The building is now a memorial and a library with multiple floors. There were many pictures and quotes of the great man framed on the walls as well as his life portrayed in dioramas. I've always admired Gandhi and it was deeply moving to spend time in this space.
My driver, Khan, took me to both museums and drove around to see some of the historical sights in Mumbai. The monsoons made it very difficult to take pictures. I did get in some shopping however.
Here are pics of just some of the amazing textiles for purchase in India. These can be rugs or wall hangings. I am ready to go back with another suitcase! I'm hoping to open a shop someday and feature some of the goods I see, touch, and admire during my travels. Who's my first customer??? I could start now if you are interested. I have the contact info!!
My trip to India was just a small taste, leaving me wanting much more. I flew to Hong Kong from Mumbai and spent the weekend at a medical conference. I'm now in Malaysia and have just about a week to go before I head back to the USA for a visit that I am eagerly anticipating!
I will leave you with a quote from the great man, Mahatma Gandhi. This was framed and hung on the wall at Mani Bhavan. It brought tears to my eyes as there was reported in the local news, just that week, another rape. These words ring more true than ever to me, a very blessed American. Where I travel I see women in full burkas, eyes alone peering out from their veils. I also see beach goers that could possibly do with a bit more covering their body. In this century and decade it is amazing the distance between these images and what this distance means for women around the world. Women may not be as physically strong but they can withstand much more than should ever be asked of them. I don't usually use this blog for a soapbox but here's to all the strong women I know and have yet to meet.
So, I do keep a fairly regular blog on this site. It's primary purpose is to keep family and friends up to date on our wanderings. As a somewhat regular "tweeter" I ran across a contest for amateur photographers and figure, why not?
The mission is to create a blog with photos that fall under these categories...
Let's see what Black's thinks of my examples of Wild, Fast, Panoramic, and Epic:
This was taken from a beach in the Similan Islands, Thailand. We were on a live aboard dive boat over Christmas.
A gorgeous place, where even mermaids may be spotted...
As you all have figured out by now, I travel, a lot! Mom spent her last week in Singapore with Corey and I. We did as much as we could cram into those few days including the Cable Car that flies from Sentosa to Mt. Faber and a fun day trip over to Pulau Ubin. I would bet you haven't heard of Pulau Ubin unless you've spent more than a few days in Singapore. More on that in a bit.
Corey helped Mom get on her plane home as I had to leave for work in Australia prior to her flight.
I hated to see Mom go but knew she had to get home to enjoy spring in the Tri-Cities. I am sure she has memories to carry her a ways! I hope you all have enjoyed her adventures written here!
If anyone fancies a trip to SE Asia, let us know so we can figure out what country we will be in so you can find us!
As I mentioned, Corey, Mom and I crammed quite a bit into her last week. The cable car that runs between Mt. Faber and Sentosa is fun way to see some of the island. We took the subway to Harbourfront station and from there we flew up to Mt. Faber. After having a snack at the top over the top of a couple of cruise ships, and landed in Sentosa. Sentosa is an island off the southern tip of Singapore that has been turned into a destination. It has hotels, a casino, Universal Studios, beaches, and more. It's a fun place to go for the day. Mom and I spent a day at the beach there a few weeks earlier. See below for that adventure. Here are some pics of our cable car ride and more.
Pulua Ubin lies a short boat ride off the NE corner of Singapore. It's truly a step back in time. Instead of traffic noise, there are crickets. The pace is as fast as you choose to pedal your own bicycle. It's a welcome escape from the city.
The picture to the left is Mom and Corey riding the bumboat over to our island adventure. Getting to this little ferry was a trek in itself, as it was a long bus ride from our apartment. The ferry doesn't have a schedule. It leaves when enough people show up. Luckily, we weren't the only ones looking for a ride. The primitive wooden boats hold about 12-20 people and most are brightly painted. They sputter smoke as they carry you across the small expanse of water between the islands. We were one of a couple groups of tourists joined by some shoppers that had obviously gone over to Singapore to grab some things that likely just aren't obtainable on their small island.
Upon arrival to the island, we rented bicycles and took our time riding along shady roads. It felt a bit like riding in a sauna but the pace was leisurely. We ended our day at one of the seafood restaurants near the wharf where we caught a return ferry back to the mainland after a tasty lunch.
Well, Corey has been in Thailand pretty much full time for over a year. I have finally caught up with him and even remain employed by CareFusion! My new title is Clinical Application Manager- Asia. Basically, I'm doing pretty much the same things as I did in Asia before I relocated but now I'm officially- here. I will be based in Singapore but traveling back and forth to Phuket, Thailand (to hang out with Corey) pretty much weekly, as well as working all over Asia. So, we are now officially transferred out of Australia and living quite near the equator. Pretty exciting stuff! If you are looking for a hot, humid vacation come visit!
This picture is from our recent live aboard dive trip. We spent the 4 nights over Christmas on a boat in the Similan Islands of Thailand. It was a fabulous trip! Kath, our tour leader and the entire crew were amazing! Plus, we had a great group of divers aboard. A few photos are below. The trip started in Chalong, Phuket Island and as we motored out of the harbor the crew set off firecrackers to frighten away any bad spirits or bad luck that may affect our trip. There was also a wonderful banquet and flowers presented on the bow to ask for safe travel and blessings. It must have worked as we had great weather, smooth sailing and beautiful diving. Corey took more of the underwater photos this trip and we were having some equipment challenges. At least I got some fun topside pics. The topography in the Similans is quite unique. Lots of big boulders both above and below the multi-hued water. Our fireworks must have also spooked the whale sharks that had been sighted recently. No worries, Kath took us to her favorite spots and I now can't wait to go back for more.
Before I jump too far ahead to Asia, I have to talk about leaving Australia and it was downright hard to do! I have made friends for life in both Australia and New Zealand. I absolutely will miss everyone and I hope that we meet again, sooner rather than later.
After returning from America, I was basically "homeless." This was a non-issue as many people offered me a place to stay. I house sat for Maree for almost 2 months which was quite an opportunity. Her cute little house was just down the road from where I was living before, so it made getting around easy- I just continued to ride my bike! Then after Maree returned, I bunked at Stephen and Louise Devine's. Living at the Devine's was DEVINE! Louise is a great cook, they love good wine, and have a nice warm pool... what else could anyone ask for. Oh, did I mention they are a lot of fun! Part of the time I was there, it became a bit of a hostel as I roomed with Josie. So much fun and many, many laughs. Thanks for everything Louise and Stephen.
Oh, and just before leaving Australia we took a quick trip to Byron Bay. I LOVE that place! The friends I went with made it extra special. In addition to a lovely trip to Byron, I had party after party to attend. Christmas parties and going away parties. Also squeezed in a couple big dance nights at the Mon Komo and as much yoga as I could... I'm so missing my yoga on the beach and particularly my yogi friends!
I really can't say enough about everyone I love in Australia. The people truly made it feel like home because it is a long way from where I'm from. I miss you already but know I will see you soon! That is why I really couldn't say goodbye, I stuck with "See Ya Latah." Hopefully done in my best Aussie accent.
Corey has become the first person to ever jump a tandem skydive over Phuket. He also was part of another air show and did a solo skydive, landing on Patong Beach, one of the main tourist beaches in Phuket- See below. Stay tuned, Skydiving in Phuket in slowly becoming a reality. In the meantime have a very happy New Year's Celebration where ever you may be. Here's to a happy and healthy 2014- Cheers!
p.s. I have more pictures to load but am out of patience tonight. Keep checking back for more!
This past week I spent at a medical conference in Hobart, Tasmania. Needless to say, we didn't get much time to play but what little I was able to take in of Hobart, I loved! It is a seaside town, which are always my favorite. There is also a river running through it, a big one. The story of Hobart is an interesting one and I was lucky enough to visit the local museum and a few antique shops in town. Unluckily, I didn't make it to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) which is said to be spectacular. Next time... next time. I do hope to return to see more of this oversized island. Hobart itself is charming, full of art, amazing fresh food-including great coffee, music, and local characters. I must say that a local Hobart accent is almost as tough to decipher as a Northern Queenslander and I'm quite fluent now in Australian, even Kiwi.
I was able to spend a couple of hours wandering through the Salamanca Saturday Market. I only wished I was heading home so I could purchase more gifts and fresh honey. Instead I'm on my way to Singapore so only limited shopping was in the cards. The food, people watching, and chance to listen to local buskers made it well worthwhile.
One night we went to dinner at Maldini's in Salamanca. Yum! If you are in Hobart and hankering for some good Italian, give it a go. In fact, that evening as we were headed to eat, we ran into a free concert being played. The setting was the back wall of Salamanca Courtyard, actually the stone of the cliff behind the square and spirits were high! It was the end of a sunny summer day and everyone was enjoying the evening. See the pictures below. Click on images to see them in full detail.
Did you know that Hobart's ports are one of the main "jump off" points to Antartica? It is really, really far south. I have a strong feeling that I wouldn't like Hobart or Tasmania as much in the winter. However, the few days we were there, the sun was out and the smiles were big. People were lazing about in city parks and eating fish and chips along the docks. Since Tasmania is well within the "roaring 40's" the wind never stopped blowing. For the non-sailor types out there, the 40's refer to the latitude and the roaring refers to the wind. The Sydney to Hobart yacht race is legendary for good reason! The winds alone would make it quite exciting, not to mention the size of waves that are built by consistent strong winds.
The history of Tasmania is a seafaring one and it is evident every where. The air smells of the sea and the brisk wind makes one dream of the hardy souls that populated such places. While still in Portland, OR we were lucky enough to attend an amazing night at the Portland Storytellers Theatre. The reason I bring it up is that the story told that night by Howard himself was of Mawson and the ill fated Antarctic journey that he made. The expedition was ravaged by bad luck and Mawson was lucky to live through the ordeal. There is a monument to this man and the others brave enough to venture towards the land of penguins and ice.
On one of my short outings to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air I traveled up the "Kelly Stairs." The little neighborhood at the top was absolutely delightful! The pictures above are some of the sweet cottages and in particular their welcoming entries. I felt like I had stumbled back in time, possibly across to the UK somewhere...
My last dinner in Hobart was amazing! Fresh shucked oysters and mussels in white wine, garlic, and butter sauce. All topped off with a nice glass of local Sauvignon Blanc and a view of the docks. The seafood in Hobart was spectacular and the wines are excellent. The overall quality of food in Tasmania is stunning. In fact, I will miss the freshness and quality of Australian produce and meats when we head off to the next adventure.
Leaving Tasmania at dawn... off to Singapore for another medical conference! More adventure in store. Stay tuned!
Well, I finally resigned from my current position after spending almost 10 years with Alaris products. I had hoped to be transferred in some manner to SE Asia but it just hasn't happened. I will remain in Aussie for 2 months fulfilling my contract obligations as to the resignation notice. While finishing up I will be lucky enough to visit Hobart, Tasmania and Queenstown, NZ as well as spend a week in Singapore. No moss grows on my tail!
We will see what happens from here but I do plan on being with Corey for the holidays. That will be awesome!
I had mentioned that Corey is currently in India and has been sending me snippets of his experience by email. Sorry I don't have any pictures but will add when Corey posts some. Here are bit of what he has shared. Enjoy!
Email 1) "I got to Delhi without drama. My host picked me up about an hour late, thank Buddha my Thai phone worked on roaming for incoming calls........ then we went to a food court for supper. All kinds of foods I have never seen...mostly bread and vegie pasty stuff and some salty minty flavored broth to drink like clear soup... surprisingly good.
I am staying at the family mansion..... in the guest room. there is a mum and dad, a couple of brothers and my host.
Tomorrow it is road trip to our destination.
Email 2) "I just had lassi made from fresh milk they bring a cow to the door every other day they boil the milk make butter make oil and drinking milk lassi is made from the curd add water and sugar-- very tasty!"
Email 3) "It is now daytime and the world of India has changed from congested world city to countryside farms. Colorful brick and cinder block structures all mounted with rollup metal garage doors.
Animals everywhere…. Cows delivering fresh milk… yes … warm and fresh.. some offer diy option. Camels instead of donkeys pulling carts loaded with colorful textiles and metal building materials. Goats on the tether waiting to be purchased for Sunday dinner…. Pigs over 200 lbs snorting as they scour the discarded garbage for a bite to eat.
None seem undernourished….
A Hindu tradition is to offer a small bit of food to stray animals before eating a meal. In the city the devout will put a bite on an altar for birds or a small plate outside for the larger creatures. Even a drop of scotch is splashed before enjoying a drink.
Drove through Jaipur--the pink city… buildings made from local stone are all natural pink. Then suddenly the landscape is wide and open… white and maroon temples are perched on the peaks of low barren mountains which ring the valley… a lake with reeds, not a tree over 5 meters, rocky boulder hillsides remind me of Simi Valley California.
Handmade fences or walls separate the horizon into irregular plots showing the human need for boundaries…
I see in-progress construction/destruction everywhere…. The two lane highway winds over the hills, now only a hundred miles south of Pakistan.
9 am—uniformed children marching in groups, some crowded onto tuk-tuks… some waiting expectantly for the Monday ride to school…..
Getting gasoline again…. The first gas stop involved a complex merging into lanes for cars for filling, then an exit queue back to the road that included air filling for the tires payment and payment for the petrol.. during the wait we noticed the debit card was not to be found… this minor problem was solved when a brother brought a spare card from the home.. just as we reached the front of the line…
Next stop did not accept any credit or debit cards… the atm machine was closed ( roll up garage door) onwards to another village…needle on E.
How many blind curves is one allotted in life??? Passing every vehicle the driver swerves along the highway…. he owns the on-coming lane and relies on the quality of Toyota engineered suspension systems... Speed increases….the kilometers start to click away……
Suddenly, traffic stops.. brakes squeal… steering wheels spin… a young camel looks left moves right…. IMPACT… metal bends…. The unfortunate humpback flips away. The old man in white robe and turban, his face aghast with surprise. The driver hesitates, then drives on. The old mans face changes to rage….his walking cane aiming for glass finds a rear view mirror. The driver is relieved to not have a view of the fading carnage.
We drive on awhile…. I am in shock at the hit and run. I say nothing. It is time to wear Buddha Luang Poo and my closing pin for better luck .
Finally, at the destination… Deesa….. try Google maps… not far from the southern border of Pakistan.
This town and my assigned room is exactly what I expected from India…. 1 star…….loud ( I brought earplugs and meds)…. Good thing I brought my own TP. Now to buy some water before brushing teeth…. More later…. It has been a long day and I need forgiveness for a young camel……"
Email 4) "Today I will begin to open my mind to new things..... When I asked where to buy some TP... I was told that people in India do not use TP.
And there is no bidet hose......... No shit !!!!! Only can hold out so long....... I am not shaking anyone by the hand again..."
Email 5) "Everything you have heard about India's lack of sanitary facilities is under reported. Even the very weathly (like millioniare old money rich) used the bushes today.... enough said
It has been a good experience, and interesting nightlife as this a dry state and a vegetarian only state. What would you expect from Ghandi's home area.... I am still a strange sight to most people, it is my 15 min to be a rock star.. I will take what I get... but not someplace I want to live much longer.
I have had garbonzo beans and tomatoes every way you can imagine. Tasty but still garbonzo beans ... and the side dishes are made from potatos and lentils. Everything is served with a think bread like a tortilla with grease..... I have learned to like buttermilk and milk curd yogurt... very cooling. Today I had a treat-- bananas!!!!!! I got two.... yeah! the first fresh fruit since I got here.
The people are really nice and my hosts are generous ..... I have been to some Hindu temples, a couple of festival dances and tomorrow is a major holiday (breaking a 9 day fasting for the whole country and particularly this region) so you see I am finding the spectacular things in the fog ..."
Stay tuned for more from Skybaduba and Sailgirl... aka Corey and Peggy
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When I wake up in the morning and start moving my creaky joints, I am reminded that I have truly entered the segment of life known as middle age. We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t teach old dog new tricks.” Well, if we are wise humans, an old dog can teach us a trick or two. Here is what time at our beach home in Oregon with my white faced retriever mix Vela has taught me this year…
Enjoy a nap when you can.
You never know when you may have the opportunity to close your eyes. Napping in a beautiful location such as under the arms of a lovely tree, on the sand sheltered by a beach umbrella, or even atop a fluffy growth of green grass (with or without a blanket beneath you) is always preferred. Never pass up the chance to recharge your batteries with a well-deserved rest.
Vela is a professional napper at her advanced age. I’d like to become a much more proficient napper, it’s my new goal. If not a nap for me, then a bit of quiet time and frequent thankful thoughts are on the schedule for this coming year.
Before life gets you down, do what best clears you head.
What works for you? Calling a good friend for a chat? A walk or run? A yoga class? A long hot bath with a glass of wine? How about a good book? Whatever works for you, do it often; don’t wait until you are ready to pull your hair out. Dancing is one of my favourite ways to empty my head and put a big smile on my face.
I wrote a blog about this a couple of years ago that discussed nursing and how some of us relieve stress or "clear our heads."
Here is a link: http://ajnoffthecharts.com/2009/08/07/trauma-nurse-finds-stress-relief-as-dj-what-do-you-do/
Feel free to comment here about your strategies or goals. What works for you? I am sure we'd all be happy to learn from each other.
Enjoy time with your friends and family when ever you can.
Throughout life, people become a part of our story whether they play an ongoing role, or star in a short segment. Relationships must be nurtured to remain healthy and continue to grow.
Currently I spend most of my time a long way from many of my favourite people, including my husband! Technology has certainly made long distance relationships easier to manage but nothing beats a nice face to face and a big hug from a great friend or beloved family member.
Now in her older years, Vela has learned to let a younger person lead the way, at least some of the time. This is something we are working on as our children have a lot to teach us; our grandchildren as well. Vela is happiest when she is near people she loves. I’ve found that the older I get, this is ever more important to me as well.
While visiting this USA this year on annual leave, we had the opportunity to spend precious time with family and friends. We've experienced some recent losses in our family. Being an expat has some amazing advantages but being so far during times of birth, death, and other life events is one of real challenges. We truly appreciate our loved ones that took time to visit us while we were in Oregon as well as those who hosted us at their homes. We are always open to visitors where ever we may land!
Tasty treats are a pleasure that should not be missed- but are best if they are earned.
Lately I have been very focused on becoming as healthy as possible. This has included eating quality fresh food, minimising alcohol, and exercising regularly. I have not made anything off limits to myself but have basically taken the stance that all things are good in moderation.
Vela always enjoys her treats just as we all should!
Pause to enjoy any spectacular sunset.
Living in the moment allows you to see and experience things that others may miss. Slow down and watch the sun set or rise once in a while. You can also “stop and smell the flowers” –literally, if that is something you enjoy. Savor life, it passes quickly and there are so many lovely things we miss by speeding through.
Just like Vela, when I look out over the ocean in all its glory and might, no matter what beach I may be standing on, in whatever part of the world, it reminds me to be thankful for everything I have... my family (pets land in this box), friends, and especially my health.
Never stop exploring.
When hiking in the woods near our home at the Oregon Coast, Vela always finds something to sniff and actively interacts with what is around her. She isn’t as speedy as she used to be, but then neither are we!
Vela’s spirit of adventure is inspiring. Both Corey and I relish adventure. Corey is currently in India helping to set up a skydiving dropzone while we wait out the monsoons in Thailand. I should be joining him before Christmas. We aren't quite sure what's in store for us but if you watch this space you will be as up to date as we are.
Last but not least-- Smile.
Everyone is more attractive when they are smiling. Never pass up a chance to smile at a child, they usually smile back and they have years to discover that life sometimes makes smiling difficult.
Here is a haiku I wrote that you may like:
The smile of a child
reminds us of all things sweet.
Pause, smile back, give thanks.
As I was reviewing our pictures from this fabulous trip to the USA I noticed that Vela is always smiling!
Going through life with a grin makes everything a lot more fun!
Vela smiles more than she barks and that is the balance I try to maintain.
Stay tuned for more adventures from Papa Mac and Spicy Grandma Mac!
I was getting ready to write a new blog and update you all on what's been happening and realised that I never answered the big question in the previous post titled, "Once in a Lifetime." Those of you who haven't read it- you may want to drop down and read it first-- spoiler alert! It's a pretty good story and true at that! Or as they say in Aussie-STRUTH!
I may be a bit of a piratess but I am a truthful one so for those inquiring minds--- the map below of Captain Cook's world voyages was REAL! Yep, sure enough, my pal Louise was completely correct. It was likely drawn up in approximately 1785 as I've had it professionally assessed. Some of you realise I have been an avid fan of TV shows like Antique Roadshow and this is something I have dreamed about for years. Finding a treasure... and yes, I did draw a ship on my best ever antique find.
The story wraps up with a bit of a twist. Once I discovered the map was an original (and possibly worth a few thousand dollars) I decided to find out who donated it to the Deuba School Yard Sale as most of the donations came from fellow yogis. Turns out, it was donated by a friend of mine! Long story short, I've had the map restored and my friend and rightful owner of the map is looking to sell it. She will reimburse my costs of restoration and I'll definitely ask for my investment of $1 back as well. (Just kidding)
Anyone interested? Cheers!
Here is the tale of possibly (but I hope not) a once in a lifetime occurrence that happened to me recently. Before heading off to Fiji, the Simply Yoga tribe held a yard sale. We all donated goods and raised almost $1000 for the Deuba school in Fiji. If you haven't read that blog and seen the pics, take a peek, as it's just below and Fiji was fantastic! We all spent time volunteering at the sale and at it's completion there was an old nautical chart in a broken frame leaning against the outside of the house. It seemed like the perfect canvas for an art project so I added another dollar (that was what it was priced) to the money I'd already spent at the sale and brought it home. You all know I'm a sucker for anything to do with boats and travel.
Upon removal of the frame, I found two old newspapers from "Rhodesia," now Zimbabwe. These were dated 1968 and one was from Christmas that year. On December 25, 1968 an Apollo mission was in progress, and this was the feature on the front page. The papers were intriguing and I actually put them on Ebay thinking they may be worth a few bucks. No bites from Ebay for the newspapers, so on to the art project.
After closer inspection of the chart I realised it was of Captain Cook's journeys so I decided to draw a picture of the Endeavor, his famous ship. I had gotten about this far, see the attached photo (a little further as some of my work is removed already), and one of my Aussie pals dropped by. Louise asked me if I had checked to see how old the chart was; I said it was at least dated 1968 and we took a look at the newspapers. Louise's family had also lived in Africa so the papers were fun to look at together. When Louise left she urged me to check on the age of the chart and I said, "sure, sure Louise" truly thinking that it would amount to nothing. Now we realise that Louise should probably work on Antiques Roadshow.
Lying on the couch that night, watching some brainless TV show, I typed the title of the chart into my iPad. Up pops a webpage with almost the same map, dated 1785, being sold for $3500. I bolted straight up on the couch and my stomach did some flip flops. I jumped up, turned on the lights, and looked at the chart... oops! All of a sudden the great idea of using this old map as a canvas felt like a very, very bad idea. At least I only used pencil! After reviewing multiple Google hits and finding another similar chart that had sold for a few thousand dollars I also found one copy of the same chart from the 1960's for sale- priced at $50. I exhaled a quick sigh of relief. My very next thought was, "how do you tell which ones are old?" I did a little more research and noticed that the older, original maps were a certain size. I measured the map on my table and it matched the older style; the ones worth the big bucks. Oops!
As you can imagine, I was now quite intrigued. I took some pictures of the map and emailed them to two different antique document dealers online. Within 48 hours I had two answers, one from Melbourne Australia and one from California. Both dealers informed me that the map was likely from the late 1700's and of course would be worth much more without the boat. Oops!
At this point I realised I needed to try to find out where it came from. After consulting a few of my yogi pals we came to the realisation that one of our fellow yoginis had donated the map. One day after yoga I let her know and you know what she said? Yep, good guess. "Oops!" and of course, "WOW!"
Last weekend, I drove up the coast to a market where a man was exhibiting old photos, maps, and more. I had gotten his name from the map dealer in Melbourne and I had set up a chance to have our yoga map validated once and for all. I walked through the market with the carefully protected treasure under my arm. It was pouring rain but many dealers were gamely showing their wares. When I found Edwin's stall, he and his wife eagerly but gently unrolled the old paper and he got out his magnifying glass. I found myself holding my breath, hoping it was really old and also hoping is wasn't, since I had admitted to being the idiot who drew on it.
After about a minute of examination, while still bent over the chart with his magnifying glass, Edwin says, "well it's definitely not 20th century." At first thought I figured he meant it's not very old, then he says, "it's definitely from the late 1700's and no later than 1810. OOPS!
(to be continued...)
A day out sailing is a great way to get your mind off of anything but what is going on at that very moment. When the wind is straining sails, lines, and winches, things need to happen quickly and correctly. There is not time to think about anything else. It's a great place to be when life has become a holding pattern. Waiting has never been my strong suite.
Here in my part of the world the local boat club races a few days a week. I had been invited over the past year to sail by a yoga friend who has become a racing regular and I finally hopped on board yesterday! I now have 2 yoga friends who also sail and am so glad they've both kept at me to join in. Many of you know that racing is not really my thing, but... I think I may be turning over a new leaf. The start of a race is still a bit stressful but running out into Moreton Bay and only tacking or jibing a couple of times over 3 hours or so is my kind of racing! As luck would have it I was allowed to crew on Nigel and Janet's amazing 39 foot catamaran! It was a spectacular day, even if it is the middle of winter. Cat Ballou is a spacious boat and I now freely admit that cats are pretty awesome. It sailed well and even points into the wind quite nicely as it is equipped with a board that can be dropped to help it get a little more angle. I could definitely live on a catamaran.
As you can see by this pic of Nigel we did have some need for extra layers yesterday and I could have used a couple more. We only got drizzled on for a few minutes but those skies gave us 15-22 knot winds or so and on our best reach we were scooting along at just under 10 knots. Sweet! I am heading out on a monohull tomorrow with Helen and Nick. It is a public holiday, the Queen's Birthday, and the water is calling. I have decided to bundle up and enjoy.
Corey and I are still in a waiting game with Thailand and CareFusion. I had expected to blog an update last week but alas, no news on either front. Corey is up in Northern Thailand this week doing some skydiving and exploring. He was lucky enough to drop into Lao and see Vientiene. I have never been there but it's on my list. I do hope to hear from work this next week about my request to do my job from Asia. As soon as something breaks loose, a blog will be forthcoming.
I hope everyone in Aussie has a fabulous holiday tomorrow. Although we are into winter, our weather isn't too shabby here in Queensland. We are still able to do yoga next to the beach most mornings and I've been riding my bike almost daily. My American family and friends are just getting into the summer season and I'm loving to see all the lovely Facebook posts about warm weather fun.
If you haven't seen the rest of this this website please check it out! Also, head on over to my Redbubble site. There are a few more goodies to see. Thanks!! www.redbubble.com/people/sailgirl